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Methuen, MA 01844
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Windham, NH 03087

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When your Smile Needs More

Dental Implants Methuen, MATooth loss is a dental problem that dentists handle routinely. Adults of all ages, and even teens may lose a tooth due to a sporting injury or even to gum disease. As much as possible, we try to mitigate the risks of tooth loss with preventive dental checkups and cleanings. In some instances, though, it is necessary to discuss more extensive restoration. Full arch tooth replacement is not as common as it used to be, thank goodness; but when the need is presented to us, we know how to approach it for the best possible outcome.

What is Full Arch Replacement?

The upper and lower rows of teeth are referred to as arches. Some patients require rehabilitation of an arch due to the effects of gum disease or other serious conditions. Teeth are typically not “lost,” but removed in a precise extraction procedure. When this happens, it may be possible to immediately insert the small metal implant posts into place. These posts must remain covered by gum tissue for several months to fully integrate into the jawbone. However, during this time, chewing is facilitated with a comfortable, removable denture. Ultimately, full arch tooth replacement may involve approximately four dental implants and a final denture that rests on top.

Why Patients Choose Implant-Retained Full Arch Fixtures

The steepest consequence of losing an arch of natural teeth is that an inappropriate replacement can lead to speaking and chewing difficulties. The placement of implants is intended to prevent these problems. The final denture is affixed to the top portion of implant posts, which creates optimal stability. No slipping or falling out. No dentures were rubbing against the gums. Just good old-fashioned functionality just like you would expect from natural teeth.

Stability is the primary benefit to implant retention. Full arch treatment with implants also achieves objectives including:

  • Minimal disruption to gum and bone tissue.
  • Ongoing support for bone regeneration via stimulation that transfers through implant posts.
  • The permanent function is possible with good oral care to prevent periodontal disease.

Regardless of tooth loss or the reason for it, we all deserve to have something to smile about. To get help for your smile, call our Windham or Methuen office.

When a Refresher is in Order

When a Refresher is in Order | Kalil Dental Associates | Methuen, MABad Breath

Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, is a problem that is more common than you may think. Unfortunately, it is also a problem that may take a while to become obvious to the person affected. If you have the tiniest suspicion that your breath may be taking a turn toward the dark side, there are steps you can take now to avoid bigger consequences.

Often, the culprit behind bad breath is hygiene. Most of us think we take good care of our teeth because we brush every day. This is not enough. Brushing is something to do with care, and for two full minutes, morning and night. Bad breath may come from bacteria in between teeth and on the back of the tongue. These areas must also be cleaned during daily oral care. Floss in between all teeth, and then use a tongue cleaner to scrape bacteria from that surface. If ramping up your hygiene does not resolve halitosis, there may be something else going on in your mouth.

Fixing the Problem

  • Do you wear dentures? It is possible that bacteria have accumulated on hidden surfaces. First, try soaking your fixtures in an appropriate antibacterial cleaner. Brush them with a soft-bristled brush and your denture cleaner (NO toothpaste!). Always clean dentures gently and over a soft surface, such as a towel, to avoid damage. Finally, see your dentist regularly for relining. When dentures do not fit well, there is a greater risk of bad breath, among other problems.
  • Do you have dry mouth? The soft tissues in the mouth need moisture. Saliva helps break down food for digestion, and it also dilutes residue and bacterial acidity that can lead to problems including tooth decay and bad breath. If sipping water frequently does not provide adequate moisture, talk with your dentist. Treatment for dry mouth can restore freshness and also reduce risk.
  • Do you have red, swollen gums? Redness and swelling are indicators of gum disease. One of the first symptoms of early gum disease, gingivitis, is bad breath. The sooner that care for an oral infection like gingivitis can be obtained, the lower the risk of long-term issues.

We are here to support you in maintaining oral health. Schedule your visit today.

 

Planning a Summertime Get Together? Remember This!

dental careThe warm summer months remind us of the beauty of human connection. Weather beckons us outdoors, where we can picnic or relax beneath the stars during a dinner party with close friends and family. As you prepare meals for such gatherings, you can maximize both flavors and health-giving benefits by choosing foods carefully.

Raw Fruits and Vegetables

One of the cornerstones of just about every party is the plate filled with raw fruits and vegetables. These foods aren’t just good for the waistline; they also promote a healthy mouth. The crunchiness of vegetables like celery and cauliflower cleanse the teeth. High-water foods such as pears, apples, cucumbers, and watermelon stimulate the flow of saliva, which is beneficial for acid-reduction.

Other foods that are tooth-friendly include . . .

Pineapples are healing to the mouth and the body due to their vitamin C and K content. If it is a whiter smile you’d like, stock up on strawberries this summer. This sweet fruit is loaded with malic acid, which has been said to brighten up enamel. To build strong enamel, add a cheese plate to your summer festivities. The casein protein in dairy is associated with strong teeth and bones.

What to Drink

Does having a healthy, bright smile mean that you have to shun all beverages but water during your dinner parties and any other time? Not necessarily. There are some things you should know, though. Many of the beverages that we use to quench thirst are highly acidic. This is particularly troubling when it comes to children whose teeth are still developing. Acidic beverages such as sports and energy drinks increase the risk of erosion, which can lead to cavities as well as discoloration. Bottled, carbonated water is even strongly acidic to teeth.

If you do consume soda, alcohol, tea, coffee, or carbonated beverages, you can minimize their impact by swishing fresh water around the mouth.

Want to Treat your Guests?

If you are one to throw the party of the season, you no doubt think of ways to wow your guests. One way to do this is to offer dental items such as wine wipes or personal flossers in a small basket set in the guest bathroom. Other luxuries may include lip balm and travel sized toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Hosting parties is fun any time of year. We hope these tips help you make the most of your festivities.

 

 

Is your Jaw Talking to you?

TMJTMJ disorder is an oral condition that more people hear about these days. Just hearing the term, though, doesn’t equate to understanding how to recognize the signs of a problem in the jaw, or knowing what to do about it. We want to dive into this topic so you can better interpret what your jaw may be telling you.

What is TMJ disorder?

When the jaws that operate the movement of the lower mandible do not work properly, the term TMJ may be used to describe such a situation. TMJs are the joints that make chewing possible. They are called TMJs because, well, no one wants to say temporomandibular joints if they can help it! More often than not, these joints work just fine in conjunction with their cohorts, the ligaments and muscles of the jaw. Sometimes, though, too much stress is applied to this network, and the jaw starts talking; and by that, we mean that unpleasant symptoms arise.

Signs of TMJ Disorder

There are several telltale signs that the jaw is in a bit of distress. TMJ disorder is not necessarily a serious condition, but it is not one that you want to ignore, either. Depending on the degree of dysfunction, symptoms may become distracting.

  • Chronic headaches and migraines may stem from TMJ disorder.
  • Teeth may become overly sensitive and painful.
  • Jaw stiffness may range from mild to locked in place, lockjaw.
  • Tinnitus or ringing in the ears may occur, or ear pain.
  • The jaw may feel sore or tender or may become swollen.
  • Chewing may elicit loud clicking or pop noise.

TMJ Treatment

Fortunately, many people with symptoms of TMJ disorder find relief in conservative care. If it is determined that grinding and clenching occur, a night guard oral appliance may be worn to reduce the extensive stress on the jaw and oral structures. Because grinding and clenching are stress-related habits, patients may also relieve symptoms by implementing activities that reduce stress into their daily life. Finally, oral appliances are available to encourage proper jaw positioning.

Conservative care is the first line of defense against TMJ disorder, but not the only option. In severe cases that do not resolve with oral therapies, a minor, outpatient surgery may be performed to eliminate scar tissue and reduce inflammation.

Help is available for TMJ disorder. Learn more in our Methuen or Windham office.

 

 

What Do We Do During Your Professional Cleanings

family dentistrySome people scoff at the idea of a “professional cleaning” thinking they can do all the same stuff at home, so why to waste time and money on the dentist. But our professional cleanings and exams at Kalil & Kress are so professional; they should probably have an agent. What we do in these twice-yearly events is far beyond anything you can do at home.

In short, skipping twice-yearly exams and cleanings with the Kalil & Kress team may save you a few bucks today, but it will surely cost you thousands down the road.

Our professional cleanings and exams are critical parts of your oral hygiene regimen. Here’s what we do.

What is involved in the exam?

This is what Drs. Kalil and Kress are looking for when you come in twice each year.

  • Diagnostic dental x-rays— X-rays are crucial in detecting some hygiene issues: decay, possible tumors, cysts, and bone loss. We also use x-rays to check the position and alignment of each tooth.
  • Evaluation of your gums— This is the time we look for signs of periodontitis, gum disease.
  • Oral cancer screening— We check your gums, tissues, throat, tongue, lips, face, and neck for signs of oral cancer. See, Dr. Kalil doesn’t just pull on your tongue for fun.
  • Examination for decay— In addition to x-rays, Drs. Kalil and Kress use visual clues to check for the beginnings of decay on your teeth.
  • Examination of your dental restorations— We’ll check any prosthetics such as bridges or crowns, along with fillings, veneers, bonding, and the like.

How is the cleaning different than what I do at home?

While your home hygiene is crucial to a healthy mouth, it can’t match the power of our professional cleanings. These are called prophylaxis because we would like to use that word in Scrabble. That’s the clinical name. The reason we schedule these twice a year is simple — that’s how long it takes enough plaque to harden into tartar to create a situation that needs to be removed. If you leave tartar on your teeth to expand and creep under your gumline, that’s the start of gum disease. Here’s what we do in our cleanings:

  • Calculus (tartar) removal— Calculus in high school or college was a class many wish they could have removed. Calculus on your teeth needs removing, too. Calculus is the clinical name for the plaque that has hardened onto your teeth. Plaque is always on there, waiting for you to brush and floss it away every day. But over time some areas tend to form tartar, areas such as the inside of your front bottom teeth. You can’t remove tartar at home; we have to chip and break it off with our trusty dental picks.
  • Plaque removal— This sticky, invisible substance forms on your teeth all the time. Along with saliva, food debris and bacteria hang around in plaque. You remove it at home, but we remove every bit of it when we professionally clean.
  • Teeth are polishing— The gritty tooth-cleaning paste we apply with our spinning brushes polishes away any remaining plaque and the lighter stains on your enamel.

Now, do you see why we want to see you twice a year for this stuff? Call the team at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004, for your next appointment.

 

 

Cosmetic Dentistry Revolves around your Objectives

Cosmetic DentistryKalil Dental Associates enjoys serving patients from Windham, Methuen, and surrounding areas with the quality dental care we would want for ourselves. Part of the joy of dentistry comes from seeing the difference a healthy, attractive smile can make on a personal and professional level. If you have been thinking about improving the appearance of your teeth, we are here to support you with the treatment you need.

Cosmetic dentistry is not a formal specialty. Dentists who conduct smile-enhancing treatments have obtained additional training beyond dental school. The techniques that are learned center on specific goals, such as drawing out natural beauty through the proper use of high-quality materials.

Various Paths to the Same Goal

Ultimately, the objective of cosmetic dentistry is to make the smile look as attractive as the patient desires. This doesn’t mean a full smile makeover in every situation. Often, it is just one or two treatments that attain the desired outcome.

  • Teeth whitening. We have moved beyond the days of home whitening kits. Today, patients may choose this option, or they may choose to undergo professional teeth whitening in the dental office. In cases of severe discoloration, a combination of the two may be planned.
  • Porcelain veneers. From tough stains to a turned tooth to a problematic gap, porcelain veneers have been used for just about every cosmetic smile problem there is. In less than a month, it is possible to have a great new smile.
  • Dental bonding. This veneer treatment differs from porcelain veneers in performance and materials. Dental bonding may be performed to cover a small flaw or area of damage, such as a chip. The ceramic that is applied and shaped to perfection is immediately cured to remain in place for years with good care.
  • Gum contouring. This laser gum treatment enhances the smile by balancing the gum-to-tooth ratio. Soft tissue dental lasers are a safe, precise way to bring out your inner beauty.

Dental care for your Unique Needs

We find cosmetic dentistry to be a fun and exciting area of practice. To learn more about how treatments can be tailored to meet your needs, call our Methuen or Windham office.

Be Scared of the Yeti, Not Us

Sedation dentistrySome people are scared of spiders. Some people are scared of heights. Some people are scared of orange-colored politicians.

Others are scared of going to the dentist. And that’s a bad thing for their teeth.

At Kalil & Kress, we provide sedation for our patients who equate a visit to our offices with a viewing of Saw IV.

It’s not just fear

Some people have a fear of the dentist office. It may have been a bad previous experience with another dentist, or it may stem from stories from the patient’s friends. Or, he or she may simply have watched Marathon Man one too many times. Haven’t seen it? Suffice it to say the innocent protagonist, Dustin Hoffman, is mistaken for another person who knows where some hidden Nazi treasure is located. To find it, ex-Nazi doctor Lawrence Olivier uses, uh, persuasive dental drilling techniques!

Not good for our reputation!

Beyond fear, some patients also have other issues that can be mitigated with sedation. They may have overly sensitive teeth or gums, or they may have an extremely strong gag reflex.

Sedation to the rescue!

Sedation allows people to feel comfortable about undergoing complex or lengthy procedures. Often, those patients note afterward that the procedure seemed to last just a few minutes. It allows those with sensitive teeth or gums to feel absolutely nothing during the procedure. And for those with an innate fear, it simply takes the edge off.

Types of sedation we use

At Kalil & Kress, we use several possible levels or types of sedation:

  • Nitrous oxide — You may know it as laughing gas. Administered through a facemask, nitrous oxide is helpful for patients who fear the needle used to inject the local anesthetic. Nitrous oxide gives the patient a feeling of relaxation, making it easier to sit through a long procedure. It also wears off quickly, making it great for patients who will drive themselves home after their appointment.
  • Oral sedatives — We use a variety of oral sedatives such as Valium and Xanax to cause drowsiness and reduce anxiety. Like nitrous oxide, once administered, oral sedatives allow us to inject the local anesthetic to prevent any pain.

See? There’s no reason to miss your appointment with the team at Kalil & Kress because you’re nervous about it. Our sedation services will alleviate your fear and discomfort. Call us to schedule your next appointment, 603-880-7004.

Important Questions to ask Before Teeth Whitening

Teeth WhiteningWe love helping patients regain the brilliance that has been diminished from their smile over the years. Discoloration is one of the primary concerns expressed to dentists. Fortunately, it is one of the simplest issues to correct. Patients of Kalil Dental Associates may choose to brighten up their smile with home whitening, in-office whitening, or a combination of the two. Regardless of the preferred method, certain questions should be asked before teeth whitening.

  1. How much is needed? One of the biggest mistakes that can be made in teeth whitening is taking it too far. We all have a natural range of brilliance that complements our inherent complexion. Chicklet-white teeth don’t look natural on every face and can detract from beauty if not reigned-in. We look for this range when conducting treatment in the office, and suggest that patients’ use the whites of the eyes as a guide when treating discoloration with a professional home-whitening kit obtained in our office.
  2. Could there be a challenge to the whitening process? Ideally, whitening can be performed without challenge. However, it is important to know the risk before starting. This is why we conduct a thorough dental exam before cosmetic treatments like whitening. Dental conditions such as gingivitis, gum disease, or tooth decay, could make whitening uncomfortable or even damaging to the vulnerable structures.
  3. Will existing dental work be affected? Natural enamel is affected by the chemical reaction from peroxide gel. Dental materials such as composite resin and porcelain are not. This means that your new, whiter teeth could make your restorations appear stained. To achieve the most natural esthetic, it may be necessary to replace visible restorations after the ideal shade of white has been obtained.
  4. Does method matter? There is a misconception that stained teeth can be transformed into radiant teeth with various over-the-counter products. Most toothpaste products today say “whitening” somewhere on the label. This implies stain-lifting when what it means is polishing. Whitening strips do lift surface stains but are not designed for dramatic results. Method matters. For unmistakable payoff from teeth whitening, see your dentist.

Our offices in Methuen and Windham offer friendly, professional service for your general and cosmetic concerns. Contact us for a convenient appointment time.

Are You Considering Orthodontic Treatment? Here’s What You Need To Ask Yourself!

Invisalign Methuen MA | Windham NHOne of the best things you can do for your smile – and your oral health – is to correct misalignment. Orthodontic treatment has historically gone hand in hand with being a teenager, but not all of us were provided with teeth-straightening treatment early in life. This has left many adults contemplating orthodontic care during a time in which they also want to maintain a certain image. The good news is that it’s possible to correct alignment issues during adulthood; you just need to ask yourself these questions . . .

Why should I?

Teens are taken to the orthodontists and rarely have a say in whether or not their crooked teeth are straightened (they are thankful after the fact!). As an adult, you can ask why you should straighten your teeth. The clear answer is that your smile will look better, but there’s more to it than that. Straight teeth are also cleaner teeth, and that translates into better oral health. This is because your brush and floss are more effective when there aren’t tight spaces or areas of overlap.

Why shouldn’t I?

This question offsets the idea that “I’m too old for braces.” Why shouldn’t you love your smile? Why shouldn’t you enjoy good oral health and greater confidence? You deserve this and more, and you may even be able to achieve it without braces at all. Many of the adults we treat achieve their desired result with Invisalign.

How can I get a straighter smile?

Once you know you are ready to commit to treatment; your next step is to find out which method of teeth-straightening will work for you. Most adults prefer the discreet nature of Invisalign, the aligner system that fits over teeth rather than requiring that fixtures adhere to them.

Schedule a consultation

We are proud to offer Invisalign treatment in our Windham and Methuen offices, enabling patients to improve their appearance and oral health without the unpleasant aspects of traditional orthodontia. Call Kalil Dental Associates today at (978) 688-1895.

 

When Fables Become Fallacies

Dental Implant Methuen MA | Windham NHThere are several benefits to telling stories. Children love them, and those that get passed from one generation to the next have historical value for a family or culture. For the most part, stories bring joy to those who tell them and those who hear them. Then there are the fables that we tell ourselves, the ones that can hurt us, but that often turn into false beliefs that guide certain decisions. These fallacies can even extend into dentistry, ultimately affecting treatment options that you allow yourself to consider. Here, we reveal some of the common fallacies patients believe about dental implants.

I am not deserving of such treatment

If you were to say you don’t deserve to get dental implants, would you also say you didn’t deserve that natural tooth or teeth that were lost? When we put this spin on it, you can see where the lie is. We all deserve teeth that function well. We were given teeth very early in life, and even got a second set to give us a lifetime of speech, chewing, and an attractive appearance. Mother Nature did not qualify the doling out of teeth, and neither do we. If you are in good health and you need tooth replacement, there is no “deserving” about it.

I’m too old for this treatment

If you are 45 or you are 85, and you are in good health, and like to eat a variety of foods, and like to smile, you are not too old for dental implants. Yes, there are alternatives. Dentures or Bridges are still commonly used. However, the consequences of having no roots beneath teeth can be significant at any age.

I don’t need that tooth replaced

A certain number of teeth grow into the mouth for a reason. We have teeth for a reason. There is no loss that is free of consequences, even if it’s just one tooth; one small gap. First, the space will be visible. Second, the teeth that are left have to do more work to chew. This can mean susceptibility to damage like chips or cracks.

Schedule a consultation

Kalil Dental Associates serves families in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Contact us today to replace fallacies about dental implants with facts.